Back to the Future in the Kitchen: Background information when reading Consider the Fork

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Consider the Fork

A History of How We Cook and Eat

by Bee Wilson

Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson X
Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2012, 352 pages

    Paperback:
    Oct 2013, 336 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte
Buy This Book

About this Book

Back to the Future in the Kitchen

This article relates to Consider the Fork

Print Review

While Consider the Fork is filled with delicious nuggets about the history of kitchen implements, some geeky gourmands are looking back to the future and revolutionizing the idea of exactly what we consider a kitchen tool.

Beet FoamMolecular gastronomy, the precision cooking that uses emulsification, gellification and other techniques to create tasty and stunningly beautiful dishes, is cutting-edge and is now beginning to take off among cooks who want to create tasty dishes that also have an entertainment factor. Imagine making chocolate spaghetti, mint caviar or balsamic vinegar pearls. Trendy restaurants now create "foam" made of beets or mushrooms and use them as art on created dishes. Molecule-R Gastronomy KitA kitchen tool to make these, Molecule-R, is already available for home kitchens, so this technology is not so much in the distant future as it is in the near future, and even in the now.

Of particular note for the future is MIT Media Lab's creation, The Cornucopia. This food system at its most basic involves the storing, mixing and subsequent "printing" (extrusion) of ingredients to create multiple dishes. Digital Chocolatier PrototypeThere's the Digital Chocolatier, which allows users to design various kinds of chocolate desserts using a set of ingredients. Depending on the recipe created, the machine will mix and extrude the final element into a cup. These machines are also capable of rapid heating and cooling of food ingredients which allows for a much more intense taste than regular cooking can provide.

The Digital Fabricator uses similar principles to create many foods. Ingredients are stored in the fabricator and depending on the recipe, measured in precision quantities, mixed and then deposited in layers on a waiting pad below. Each layer deposited can be heated or cooled differentially creating interesting textures and tastes. Imagine making a lasagna this way!

Then there's the Robotic Chef which allows you to manipulate one food object - injecting vanilla, for instance, into just one spot in a banana or perhaps injecting some sugar syrup and then caramelizing just the top and end parts of a fruit.

The hallmark of these instruments is the marriage between digital fabrication (read precision in every area) and food. Incidentally, Cornell University already has a commercial food printer in the market, which is a simpler version of these machines. It essentially extrudes any material onto a plate or surface. The Cornell machine can use the "printer" to precision-frost a chocolate cupcake. No more shaky hands spoiling your designs!

Ocado High Tech FridgeFinally, imagine a refrigerator that checks out the food inside it, figures out what's low in stock and places a grocery order for you. This fridge of the future is in the works at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. This fridge would not only check inventory but also bring soon-to-expire foodstuff to the front of the shelves. So for fresh food, just as you do in the stores, you will have to reach way back!

Picture of beet foam from Wikipedia.com
Picture of Molecule-R kit from molecule-r.com
Picture of Cornucopia machine from cmarcelo.com

Filed under Cultural Curiosities

Article by Poornima Apte

This "beyond the book article" relates to Consider the Fork. It originally ran in November 2012 and has been updated for the October 2013 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 12 months or $12 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Unlikely Animals
    Unlikely Animals
    by Annie Hartnett
    Though Everton, New Hampshire, the town in Annie Hartnett's Unlikely Animals, is fictional, it ...
  • Book Jacket: Shadows of Berlin
    Shadows of Berlin
    by David R. Gillham
    David R. Gillham's latest novel, Shadows of Berlin, opens in New York City in 1955. Rachel, a young ...
  • Book Jacket: Trust
    Trust
    by Hernan Diaz
    Hernan Diaz's Trust is a work of fiction that is itself comprised of four very different works ...
  • Book Jacket: Let's Not Do That Again
    Let's Not Do That Again
    by Grant Ginder
    We have all dealt with inescapable, insufferable family members at some point, and the ones who say ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Book Woman's Daughter
by Kim Michele Richardson
A mesmerizing and beautifully rendered tale of strong women, bravery, and resilience.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Metropolis
    by B. A. Shapiro

    "An ingeniously plotted hybrid social/suspense novel. Shapiro hits it out of the park."
    —Shelf Awareness

Who Said...

I write to add to the beauty that now belongs to me

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T S's T Limit

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.